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Markets and delicious Chinese cuisine in Macau

Live turtle being sold at the Mercado Municipal Almirante Lacerda or the Red Market

Black chicken. Didn't believe this one until I saw it. CLICK TO ENLARGE

I was invited by the Macau Government Tourism Office-Philippines (MGTO) together with other travel writers and bloggers for a familiarization tour to this interesting place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. You will better know a country and its people through their food and Macau is one destination that a gourmand should never miss. Like Filipino cuisine, it’s good fusion food, a beautiful marriage of the orient and the occident plus modern international dishes. And its not only about egg tarts.

Little Turtle's hole-in-the-wall chinese restaurant. CLICK TO ENLARGE

A good place to start is always the market. Wet and dry, it offers the traveler a peak into the culinary culture of the Macanese. Fresh vegetables and fruits, meats and a dazzling array of seafood make this territory one of the significant gustatory destinations in this part of the world.

Simple ingredients but with over centuries of Portuguese influences has infused traditional Chinese cooking, with a bent of the southern China styles, to come up with unique dishes that is only found in Macau.

Add to the fact that the territory has a long history of being a vibrant and hub of commerce, especially before the ascendancy of Hong Kong in the later part of the 19th century, and you’ve got a smorgasbord of dishes that titillate the palate.

Stir fried noodles with beef at Estabelecimento de Comidas Wa Hin Mei Sec

The guy named Little Turtle preparing our food. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Chinese dishes in Macau are typically influenced by the south China style with a predominant use of noodles, wheat and dumplings and it was no surprise that our first meal in this territory was at Little Turtle, a monicker for the short cook at a hole-in-the-wall establishment.

Prawn dumplings. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Stall where Little Turtle cooks. CLICK TO ENLARGE

The dishes are typically Cantonese and most of the stir fries are prepared outside, across the restaurant at a corner. The rest are cooked inside the very space challenged, two level eatery and we were treated to different kind of stir fried noodles, dumplings and congee.

The best? Fisherman’s congee was just heavy, sating and delicious. It has lots of seafood, and even peanuts but basically, it’s leftovers that are given a second lease of life, so to speak, on being on the table. Too bad it came later when we already had our fill of the other dishes plus refreshing bottle of Vitasoy.

Estabelecimento de Comidas Wa Hin Mei Sec
Shop 2C, G/F Edf. Lok Sze, Travessa da Saudade, San Kiu, Macau
Tel No. 2895 3106
Open 1830H to 0430H

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

One Comment

  1. » Good Portuguese and Macanese food in Macau | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 11, 2011 @ 8:48

    […] place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. Little Turtle’s cantonese dishes wowed us when we tried it. But discovering other aspects of Macau cuisine, beyond egg tarts and […]

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